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EHCPs, diagnosis waiting lists and all things Eddie 🤩

After a chat with some SEN mums recently, I realised I haven't written a blog post for a long time! It may not even be visible to many people, but I always say if I can help one person then I'm doing what I am meant to and those people find you somehow. I started blogging more in lockdown as it kept me positive and my creative brain going, along with creating books at home with the kids. Regardless of trying to juggle everything at the time and digging as deep as possible to stay positive for the kids, I always want to help other people too. Tyler was struggling with school work in a different environment, so writing books about idioms was magic for us really. It is bazarre reading my blog posts back, I can't believe I would go for a walk with the kids, have nowhere to be..yet couldn't access the local park as it was sadly all locked up.

As a lot of my followers will know, my character Eddie (based on my son and named after his Great Grandfather) made it to T.V. Ready Eddie Go! is now on Sky Kids helping and entertaining children! Eddie is adorable, 6 years old and autistic. His vibrant imagination, support from his friends and narrator (Jodie Whittaker) enable Eddie to access new social situations and environments! It is truly beautiful and I hope the children I used to work with in SEN get to watch it too! I know they will love Eddie, so many do already! The feedback from parents, carers, children and professionals has been absolutely amazing! It was quite overwhelming to start with! I am so glad that Eddie's helping so many children and families!

It's been an incredible journey sitting with writers and unpicking all our lives, a little reminder that your experiences can help someone else. If you needed a solution for something, you'd seek out the person who has been through something similar. That's why your challenges and real life experiences are special, because you might be able to guide another person one day too.

The week Ready Eddie Go! was released, it was an exciting and also a weird time for me. On the Monday I was sat in hospital with my Dad whilst he was receiving his first chemo. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in May, he's doing well and is more comfortable now, he is still bloody hilarious and blunt as ever! Then it was my sister in laws funeral on the Thursday that week, followed by the show being released on the Friday! What the.... How surreal is that? Life does have a way of levelling things out for you doesn't it! You'd think all that would put a dampener on things, but Eddie was out there helping others which warms my heart and I could be with family. ❤️

Recently I had my eldest sons' EHCP meeting, I can't believe he's in high school still, where did that time go? He was able to express to his SENDCO how he is finding his school experiences. I sat there feeling super proud of him. Years ago he wouldn't say anything or understand the full context of a meeting. He couldn't really cope with me in school back then, because to him I was in the wrong place, I belonged at home not school! He was the little boy who I wasn't sure if he would talk. It also reminded me just how well he does to manage such a busy, often noisy environment, keeping up with schedules and peers. EHC plans for older children have targets for school and home for independent living. One of his targets for home is to cook for me once a month.. he laughed and said 'maybe I'll start that one next year' 😂

Luckily he has an EHCP, I don't know where we would be without one. It took a lot of fighting and I wasn't giving up, my appeal went as far as SEN tribunal then the L.A 'changed their mind' just before the tribunal date..this was after the manager was telling me she wished nurses could deal with sort of thing & would argue with me all day! Okay then, lets go. It turns out, I had a lot more in me than her one days worth of trying to argue points that were not in favour of a child's needs. In my opinion..if you're talking about supporting a child and you argue against helping them, then you've already lost the argument and respect of the other person. Kids come first.

Then you have my 8 year old who has a diagnosis but is on the waiting list for an assessment for a full diagnosis, we were told it would be revisited. I chased the service up this week and he's only been a YEAR on the waiting list!! Absolutely rediculous.. on a positive note he's been learning Jujitsu, I can see him processing at times to work out what he needs to do. But, his teacher is great and understands he learns visually. Sometimes we have to adjust to those who learn in a different way, everyone deserves opportunities to learn and thrive. It's been wonderful for his confidence and he absolutely loves it. It's tough for mums though, to see their child trying to process and keep up with others. Not to mention watching them all scrap around like a bunch of nutters fearing they'll sprain something! Hopefully next time I update the blog I can say that the service has finally got round to assessment stage... We have to fight for this because not everyone understands or wants to listen..parents are often brushed off. Us parents want the best for our children and won't be stopping. When you have a diagnosis teachers and those around your child have to learn how they work personally, so that they can fulfill their wishes in life and reach their full potential. It's a shame so many children are left waiting so long and will be struggling so much more than my kids. My eldest sons diagnosis didn't take as long as it does nowadays. There was a wait but it's rediculous now.

I will be over at Instagram talking to other parents / carers as usual (@nrsaundersbooks). Will update this blog more in the new year, new books are coming too! 🥳

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